How to achieve a believable belief?

Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:05 pm

hraith wrote:I think the soul is our primary existence. It is connected to our biological body via the brain - probably within the frontal lobe of the cerebrum.


Fair enough ... what is that connection?
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby hraith » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:39 pm

I don't know, but there is a connection.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:19 pm

In my time, I have come across one or more extreme skeptics who will argue that anything that cannot be explained by using the laws of thermodynamics cannot exist.

It is uncanny really. Consider the biblical fundamentalist: The bible is true despite the lack of external source to demonstrate that it is true. Now consider the extreme skeptic: The laws of thermodynamics are true despite the lack of any external source to demonstrate that they are true.

The BF: my belief in the truth of bible has never let me down.
The ES: my belief in the truth of thermodynamics has never let me down.

The BF: if you wish to show that my belief in the bible is wrongly held, it is your job to prove, to my satisfaction, that the bible is indeed wrong
The ES; If you wish to show that anything can exist out of a single chain of cause and effect, it is your job to prove, to my satisfaction, that such things do indeed exist.

The BF: I shall never be satisfied with your proof.
The ES: I shall never be satisfied with your proof.

The amazing thing is, is that the bible fundamentalist and the extreme skeptic each thinks the other is totally inane in holding their respective world views.

So, Hermann, unless you produce a small cage containing a certified fresh soul in it, I fear the skeptic will always find one more "but.." for you to jump over.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby hraith » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:59 am

Bill,

Thanks for your contribution, which is very true.

It is not my intention to change anyones belief. I think any belief or worldview is fine as long as the person is happy with it. Only for those who are still looking for a believable belief I have described a method which allows people to develop one for themselves on a dualistic base. My belief is just an example for it. I am hoping still for a constructive discussion perhaps by sharing alternative world-views except the materialistic one.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:14 pm

hraith wrote: I am hoping still for a constructive discussion perhaps by sharing alternative world-views except the materialistic one.

What about a worldview that is based on what we can perceive using our senses (no matter how limited they are) and instruments, scientific method and logic? All this without an assumption of the existence of something we cannot perceive or verify?
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:21 pm

It would seem to me that a world view that based exclusively on what we can perceive - presumably within a very tight definition of what thermodynamics permits one to accept as possible - ends up with the possibility of denying humanity it very humanity itself.

I find the possibility of a universe in which people are simply bags of chemicals to be one I would not wish to dwell in. Rather like that one in which if Yahweh is literally true, I would prefer to spend all eternity screaming in hell rather than on my knees in everlasting blind worship.

I have not one shred of evidence to offer to support the possibility of metaphysical occurrences. All that proves is that I have not a single shred of evidence: not that they do not actually exist. It used to be a basic tenet of agnosticism that absence of proof is not proof of absence: we seem to have lost that sweet innocence somewhere on our journey of exploration,
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby hraith » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:18 am

Romansh,
Do you mean, you would only implement in your worldview what you can perceive with your senses any time like physical experiments? Or would your logic allow to implement also witnessed experiences of others like some of the many NDE reports, which would force you to consider a spiritual world? I assume you would reject this independent how convincing the reports are, because it would not fit to your predefined worldview.

Bill,
In my belief there is no hell or heaven. I think in the spiritual world we will be together only with individuals of the same development level. When every thought is like a spoken word, this could be like hell or like heaven without fire and without singing angels. The material world is our school, where we have the chance to life in a community with very different people, just because we are able to hide our thoughts and cannot read the thoughts of others.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby romansh » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:54 am

hraith wrote:Romansh,
Do you mean, you would only implement in your worldview what you can perceive with your senses any time like physical experiments? Or would your logic allow to implement also witnessed experiences of others like some of the many NDE reports, which would force you to consider a spiritual world? I assume you would reject this independent how convincing the reports are, because it would not fit to your predefined worldview.

Hermann
I certainly would consider NDEs as data points that we should examine.

I am not well read on NDEs, but the few bits and pieces I have picked up on include:

    People's NDEs reflect their cultural background, this I find a little strange in that it implies there are many spiritual planes, should they exist. Also by this light, I have a NDE every night when I go into a dreamless sleep.

    Apparently the are chemicals that scientists can put into our bodies that in part replicate NDEs to some degree without being near death. These chemicals abound in our bloodstream when we are near death. If you are interested we can try and google the references.

    Much to Bill's chagrin, the spiritual world does not make sense from the second law of thermodynamic point of view. So some of the possibilities include: the second law of thermodynamics is wrong, does not apply to the spiritual world should it exist or most likely in my opinion that a spiritual world in the dualistic sense is a nonsense.

So from an agnostic point of view Occam's razor, Laplace's apocryphal I have no need of that hypothesis, or Einstein's paraphrase make it simple as possible, but not simpler than possible all work for me.

Personally I don't think these NDE data points add up to being evidence that points to a spiritual world. Sorry.

edit
could not resist
http://www.near-death.com/experiences/paranormal12.html
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby hraith » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:30 am

Romansh,
You are right there are many NDE stories reflecting cultural and personal background. It is also true that chemicals can generate similar effects. But when you ignore all funny stories there are still some features which are common with many NDEs of different cultural background:
They can observe the surgery from the ceiling and can tell later all details, witnessed by the team. They could observe events outside the theatre and even far away from the hospital, which had been witnessed by involved people.
I don't think that this can be initiated by chemicals. You should have a look at the books from Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross.
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Re: How to achieve a believable belief?

Postby Bill » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:47 am

The phenomena commonly called a Near Death Experience is probably more better labelled "limbic shock". Chemicals can induce limbic shock, and the effect is virtually identical to those whose stress is caused by episodes that threaten to end one's life.

The Australian Air Force once operated F-84 single engine jet fighters. Sometimes at night. In bad weather. In areas known as "Cones of Silence" for the aircraft was out of range of any ground radio station. There was a high incidence of pilots flying in such extreme conditions reporting that they were convinced that for part of the flight they were sitting on the wing or tail of the plane watching themselves controlling the aircraft. The AAF invented a new category of "spatial disorientation" to cope with them all, in a way that did not mean they would have to instantly ground numerous pilots. Especially as each had several million dollars of training invested in them.

So - while NDE may be one class of limbic shock, I do not think it is particularly special from any other trigger that induces it. Indeed, one rational explanation of Saul's conversion to Christianity is that he had an episode of limbic shock. Everything recorded about the event fits the pattern, but divine intervention as a much more powerful ring to it, don't you think?
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